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Tells it All - Namibian Sun

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    Ya Nangoloh, Asino sued for N$500KYa Nangoloh, Asino sued for N$500KDefamation lawsuit for online comments Two members of the Ondonga King's Commission are suing the local human rights activist Phil Ya Nangoloh and Joseph Asino. Outspoken human rights activist Phil Ya Nangoloh and former Ondonga Traditional Authority secretary Joseph Simaneka Asino have been slapped with a defamation lawsuit, which could see them cough up N$250 000 each for Facebook comments and online newspaper articles.

    They are being sued by IT professional Werner Simaneka Kaniita and Ananias Natangwe Iiyambo, who are both members of the Ondonga King's Commission.

    They are suing for N$250 000 each over the allegedly defamatory comments and articles.

    Kaniita and Iiyambo claim the online articles were intended and were understood by readers to mean, among other things, that they are inciting tribalism as well as hatred and violence.

    The articles were widely distributed and widely read by the general public.

    They claim that the articles are allegedly understood and intended to mean that they are acting without authority or a mandate, and therefore unlawfully, and that they are contravening legislation prohibiting racial discrimination and are criminals.

    The plaintiffs further claim that the articles indicated that they are subverting the Namibian government and are treasonous to the state, as well as the Ondonga king, the traditional authority and the Ondonga people.

    They argue further that the articles are were intended to mean that the plaintiffs are subverting Swapo and that Kaniita is dishonest and manufactures evidence.

    Ya Nangoloh, who the director of NamRights, and Asino, were further accused of telling their readers on Facebook and in the online newspaper articles that Kaniita and Iiyambo are anti-Kwanyama and are intent on undermining and subverting the “Pohamba-Geingob team” and are divisive.

    The two plaintiffs are also arguing that the articles and comments intimated that Kaniita is a spy and that both he and Iiyambo are of low morals, ethics and integrity.

    They are claiming N$250 000 each plus interest on the amount calculated at a rate of 20% per annum, worked out from the date of the final judgment.

    The case is still at status management level.


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    'Count them, before killing them''Count them, before killing them'Not enough data collected The planned donkey abattoir at Outjo has fallen through the mat due to a lack of thorough research. Independent findings by a consulting firm commissioned by a Chinese/Namibian operation with plans to operate a donkey abattoir in Outjo, highlighted an urgent need for a population count of the animals and serious concerns around the socio-economic impact of the donkey skin trade in the Land of the Brave.

    Svenja Garrard of Quivertree Consulting on Friday, in a letter addressed to stakeholders, warned that it would be “negligent” of the firm to recommend that the project be approved “until more accurate data had been obtained”.

    Fu Hai Trading Enterprise last year commissioned Quivertree Consulting to conduct an environmental impact assessment of their planned state-of-the-art cattle and donkey abattoir in Outjo.

    Garrard further wrote that following in-depth specialist studies and wide-ranging consultations Quivertree “determined that the resource (donkeys) is limited and there is no accurate census data or research on their natural breeding rates and population changes”.

    Without this data, a donkey slaughterhouse “could lead to the unsustainable off-take of donkeys, which would decimate the natural population and have a detrimental impact on the livelihoods of poor communities, in particular those of women and children.”

    In conclusion, Quivertree informed their clients, Fu Hai Trading Enterprises, that the study had found that the “proposed slaughter of 70 donkeys per day was not sustainable”.

    After reviewing the findings, Fu Hai Trading Enterprises, headed by Swakopmund-based Shane Quinton Hangula and a Chinese business partner identified only as 'Mr Chengdabiek', pulled the plug for economic reasons.

    Quivertree had recommended an independent donkey census should be carried out before an abattoir is approved, in order to confirm the numbers that can be sustainably slaughtered.

    Secondly, a study should be done to determine the price that would incentivise the breeding of donkeys for the purposes of supplying them to abattoirs.

    While Fu Hai Trading Enterprises had stated they planned to supply meat - locally and abroad - the main driver of donkey abattoirs globally and in Africa is to provide donkey skins to Asia, mainly China, where a high demand has spurred a steep growth spurt in donkey abattoirs around the world.

    Quivertree noted that following a census and price study, the socio-economic costs of the donkey skin and meat trade should be weighed, and how to minimise it.

    “Then government should consider issuing an annual licence to operate together with a quota - similar to the fishing industry system. Government, local communities and the proponent should also actively prevent uncontrolled off-take.”

    Quivertree's scoping study, together with public and specialist input, found that the environmental impacts relating to the construction and operation of the facility, namely air quality, noise, visual, waste, ecology, traffic and soil could be mitigated to low with good design and engineering, and the implementation of best practice management measures.

    An environmental impact assessment that was completed last year for Agrinature Investment and Trade, also reportedly a Namibian and Chinese joint venture, to establish a donkey slaughterhouse at Okahandja is still under review at the environment ministry, officials confirmed this week.

    A copy of the impact assessment, provided to Namibian Sun last year by the directorate of environmental affairs, did not address the impact a donkey abattoir will have on the local donkey population and the long-term risks to communities dependent on donkeys.

    On Friday, the Windhoek Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) urged authorities to take the recommendations contained in the Quivertree findings on board, when similar projects are proposed.

    The SPCA warned that the widely reported impacts of increased donkey poaching and other vulnerable wildlife, as well as steep price hikes, took place in other countries where the donkey skin trade took hold through the establishment of official abattoirs.


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    Focus on gender mainstreamingFocus on gender mainstreaming The minister of gender equality and child welfare Doreen Sioka has urged regional governors to share their respective regions' achievements and challenges in order for these issues to be addressed effectively.

    The minister also urged leaders to plan their development projects around those gender issues that particularly plague their regions.

    She was speaking at the official opening of the two-day review and planning workshop for regional gender permanent taskforce in Windhoek yesterday. The meeting is being attended by regional governors, local authority councillors and several high-ranking government officials.

    “It is through this platform that regional gender issues are being discussed and implemented through various stakeholders. Gone are the days where we sat at national level and decided on your behalf. I call upon you to embrace this platform as it will help you to address your region specific gender issues,” she said. She added that the workshop is a platform for attendees to plan activities for the 2018/19 financial year. “I would like to use this opportunity to thank you for your continued support in ensuring that these events are well organised and carried out in your respective regions. Without your support, these events would not have materialised and hence the need for platforms such as the regional gender permanent taskforce,” she said.

    The workshop will look at the progress in the implementation of the 2017/18 planned activities and to identify regional and specific gender issues to be addressed by the taskforce, as well as to share the findings of the Gender-Based Violence Study.


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    NNFU urges farmers in Kunene to join unionsNNFU urges farmers in Kunene to join unions Farmers in the Kunene Region should join unions as the associations help to advance their interests.

    The president of the Ngatuuane Farmers' Union and Namibia National Farmers' Union (NNFU) treasurer, Amon Mutjiuee Kapi shared this opinion with Nampa.

    The unions are aware of all challenges farmers face and are always looking into how such challenges can be tackled, he said.

    He was speaking to Nampa on the sidelines of a meeting held by the NNFU with local farmers last week.

    Kapi urged the regional leadership to inform the farmers in their respective areas to register with unions for their own benefit.

    Former environment and tourism minister Uahekua Herunga told this news agency most farmers in Kunene are not registered with unions because of a lack of information and education. He also said the NNFU and Ngatuuane Farmers' Union do not reach out to farmers in remote areas, especially those behind the red line. “President Hage Geingob has said no one should feel left behind, but farmers in the Kunene Region appear to have been left behind,” said Herunga.

    The NNFU is a national federation of regional farmers' unions. It was established in June 1992 to serve as a mouthpiece for Namibian communal and emerging farmers.

    Nationally, 130 farmers' organisations with a membership of more than 35 000 individual farmers are affiliated to the NNFU.


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    Meatco ownership issue ongoingMeatco ownership issue ongoing‘Issue of hot potatoes’ Dealing with Meatco’s ownership is not a straight-forward issue, according to the government. Bear with us as we tackle these things. – Leon Jooste, SOE Minister Ogone Tlhage - Public enterprises minister Leon Jooste says the government is expected to announce its position with regards to its ownership in Meatco in due course.

    He however would not give a timeline about the decision and only said the ownership issue was receiving necessary attention.

    He made the comments at a public enterprises CEO meeting held this week.

    During a questions and answers session held at the forum, Meatco board member Ronald Kubas asked Jooste about Meatco’s ownership and said the board needed to be informed on the way forward.

    Responding to Kubas’ query, Jooste said the government was attending to the issue and informed him that it was not a straight-forward matter.

    “This is an issue of hot potatoes,” Jooste responded to the query.

    “The long-term issue is what should government’s role be, how do we come in, where do we come in … these are ongoing discussions,” Jooste said.

    “We are not yet at a place where we can make a decision just yet. We will tackle the issue from time to time,” he added.

    He asked Meatco stakeholders for more time as the government studies its position.

    “Bear with us as we tackle these things,” Jooste said.


    Meatco chairperson Martha Namundjebo-Tilahun in 2015 announced that government would take up 30% stake in the form of equity, it was reported in the media.

    The government’s vying for a stake in the company is because the meat industry has been declared a strategic sector that is dependent on weather and climate change.

    Meanwhile, the Meatco Group recorded revenue of N$1.6 billion for its 2016/17 financial year, 6.2% down on the previous financial year. The corporation recorded revenue of N$1.687 billion – 6.3% down on the previous reporting period.

    A total of N$899 million, about 53% of Meatco's total revenue, was paid out to producers.

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    Nam to review unified African air transport marketNam to review unified African air transport market The Government will host a workshop next month to review the Single African Air Transport Marketing (SAATM) agreement.

    Namibia is one of the AU member states that has not yet signed the commitment despite showing interest in having a unified African air transport market.

    Botswana, Mali, Kenya, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, South Africa and Zimbabwe are among the 23 African countries that have signed the agreement.

    The spokesperson of the ministry of works and transport, Julius Ngweda, said Namibia could not commit to the SAATM agreement until a number of issues are discussed with the relevant stakeholders in the aviation sector.

    The issues include capacity, aviation safety and security, frequencies, tariffs and mechanisms for fair competition.

    So far, the ministry held its first consultative meeting on 15 February 2015 with the Namibia Civil Aviation Authority, Namibia Central Intelligence Service, Air Namibia and the ministries of defence, safety and security, home affairs and immigration, and public enterprises.

    Air Namibia’s spokesperson, Twaku Kayofa, said if the government signs the agreement, the airline would participate as it would have easy access to new markets.

    “Namibia is a small market with only one million worldwide passengers travelling per year, of which Air Namibia carries 50%,” he said.

    Opportunities in other markets are much bigger and as an established airline, Air Namibia would use its existing capacity to tap into them.

    “It will enhance interconnectivity, smooth facilitation of trade and a tourism revenue increase,” said Kayofa. - Nampa

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    I am being branded a tyrant – HaufikuI am being branded a tyrant – Haufiku Health minister Bernhard Haufiku has told the ministry's top management they are not driven enough to get results, adding even the renewal of a licence disk has proven a challenge to some.

    He also said he is aware that he has been branded a “tyrant” because he pushes for results, but highlighted that leadership is not about passing the buck, but finding an immediate solution to a problem.

    The minister addressed top management yesterday during the official opening of the National Development Forum in Windhoek.

    Haufiku told his managers it is important that they take ownership of their work and responsibility for what they do, so they can be held accountable for their deeds.

    “Too often problems, even simple ones that require local solutions, are piled up to the office of the permanent secretary or minister, when they could be resolved at regional or district level.

    And letters written to high and other offices are often not followed up.

    “We believe in efforts rather than results. It does not mean when you have written a letter to me or the PS that you have solved the problem. You only made me aware, but I may not even have received your letter, and even if I did, it may be lost in a trail of papers,” Haufiku said.

    He also criticised the parking of official cars when licence disks are expired, instead of having them renewed, which has resulted in nurses being stranded and unable to do outreaches in rural areas.

    “Servicing of machines, equipment and tools is one area where we are faltering.

    Too many vehicles are laying around our health facilities in all regions, while our community health workers and nurses, who go on outreach, are struggling with transport. We must change this and make optimal use of allocated vehicles and transfer those that are written off to the ministry of works for immediate auctioning,” he ordered.

    The minister said further he envisions the ministry to be the leader in provision of equitable and quality healthcare services in the country, for all Namibians, by 2030.

    This goes in hand with eradicating stunting and malnutrition, as well as poverty, and to uplift the sanitary conditions in the country.

    “My vision is that we will have a Namibia where all children are vaccinated against all childhood diseases, where no child is born with HIV and where everyone has unhindered access to quality healthcare services without catastrophic financial consequences,” he added.


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    Ministry reaches out to unwilling momsMinistry reaches out to unwilling moms The gender and child welfare ministry is calling on pregnant mothers to turn to the ministry for help instead of deserting newborn babies, often in life-threatening conditions.

    The ministry also announced they are advocating, through the Child Care and Protection Act, to decriminalise cases where mothers are caught after they dumped their newborns. The ministry underlined that this would encourage unwilling mothers to place their newborn babies in safe places and allow social workers to make the necessary arrangements, “instead of leaving the baby in a deserted place, where the life of the baby is endangered”.

    The ministry further appealed to civil society, including churches, traditional leaders and the community as a whole, to assist in assuring young mothers that alternative options, other than dumping babies, are on the table.

    And that young girls are given the necessary support if they “do not know how to cope with the matter and encourage them to take help when they are experiencing a problem”.

    For more than a decade, Namibia has been plagued by a worrying trend of mothers, mostly young girls, dumping babies shortly after birth.

    In many cases, the infants died.

    To date, authorities have criminally charged mothers accused of abandoning their infants, who later died, in the same way as mothers accused of infanticide.

    In a full-page press statement on Tuesday, the ministry, with support from the minister Doreen Sioka, condemned cases where mothers abandoned infants shortly after birth.

    The statement, however, acknowledged the “extremely difficult circumstances that young expecting mothers could be confronted with” when they opted to abandon their children.

    The ministry noted that they are advocating for the decriminalising of baby dumping in an effort to persuade reluctant would-be mothers to rather anonymously leave their child at a safe place “with a note indicating her wishes not to harm the child”.

    The ministry also urged mothers to approach them while pregnant and to inform social workers that they are unable or unwilling to care for the child.

    “A supportive and non-judgmental counselling environment will be provided by the social workers at the ministry,” the statement emphasised. Another option proposed is that the ministry, in collaboration with the health ministry, will assist mothers who indicate their inability to care for their child, to safely give birth and then finding suitable caregivers for the child.

    “By doing so, both the mother and the baby are safe and protected.”

    The ministry further noted that in cases where the babies are born and then abandoned, the ministries of health and child welfare will ensure that the baby's health is stabilised.

    A case of abandonment will then be opened with the Namibian police and a place of safety found for the child.

    The police will take steps to trace the mother.

    However, if the mother of the child is not found or the mother is facing criminal charges or is otherwise unfit to care for the child, foster and adoption processes will be initiated.

    A paper published by the Legal Assistance Centre (LAC) suggested a number of causes for baby dumping. These included tradition, where young women fear judgment from their community and family when they become pregnant outside of marriage, and economic vulnerability when partners are absent or unwilling to assist.

    Often, young women have unwanted pregnancies that lead them to conceal their condition and eventually ditch the child.

    Lack of knowledge, illness, fear of leaving school and other forces are behind the desperate decision to abandon their babies and risk their lives.

    Another issue related to unwanted pregnancies in Namibia was raised again by health minister Bernard Haufiku this month, when he reiterated his call for an urgent need for public dialogue on the legalisation of abortion.

    He said this should be done especially in view of the high number of cases of illegal abortions recorded by the ministry in 2017.

    Last year, at the bi-monthly conference on the state of health in Namibia, Haufiku explained that most backdoor abortions were detected by professionals when women sought medical attention, due to heavy bleeding or untreated infections. He, however, indicated that such cases could not be reported to the police, due to ethical issues and concerns that women would shy away from hospitals, fearing they will be reported to the police.


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    Businessman nabbed for copper wire theftBusinessman nabbed for copper wire theftCharged with possession of stolen property A prominent scrap metal dealer has appeared in the Windhoek Magistrate's Court on charges of being in possession of stolen property belonging to Telecom Namibia. A man who was suspected to have been involved in the sale of scrap copper belonging to Telecom Namibia, and who escaped the wrath of justice ten years ago after he was acquitted of fraud and theft charges, was recently arrested in connection with the same crime.

    Johan Ettienne Weakley, a prominent Windhoek scrap metal dealer, appeared in the Windhoek Magistrate's Court yesterday on charges of possession of suspected stolen property. According to a state source who spoke to Namibian Sun, Weakley was apprehended on 13 February at his scrap metal business premises in the Southern Industrial Area when police, after a tip-off, searched and retrieved 364kg of copper wire valued at N$31 660.

    “There is a reasonable suspicion that it is stolen property,” prosecutor Rowan van Wyk said to Namibian Sun upon enquiry.

    Magistrate Vanessa Stanley, after the state had no objection, granted N$10 000 bail to Weakley on the condition that he does not directly or indirectly interfere with the police investigations.

    He was not asked to plead.

    This is the second time Weakley is implicated in the theft of Telecom Namibia's copper wires. In June 2014, after a trial that started in January 2008, he was found not guilty on 19 counts of fraud and theft involving Telecom's copper wires.

    This was only when Heinz Dresselhaus, in his capacity as the representative of the company, Dresselhaus Scrap CC, pleaded guilty in May 2014 and was convicted of 19 counts of fraud and theft. Thereafter Weakley and his co-accused, James William Camm, a manager with Telecom at the time, were found not guilty on all charges

    Dresselhaus Scrap CC was in June 2014 fined N$200 000. The company was, at the time of the incident, one of the leading scrap metal dealers in Namibia, and it had longstanding dealings with Telecom Namibia, dating back to before 1997.

    One important area of such dealings was in respect of Dresselhaus Scrap CC being awarded tenders to purchase Telecom Namibia's copper. Another important area in which the two entities worked cooperatively concerned finding ways and means of combating theft of Telecom Namibia's copper telephone cables which had become quotidian.

    At that time, Telecom Namibia was in the process of replacing its copper telephone lines with optic fibre cabling in a wireless phone system.

    One of the sticky problems encountered by Telecom Namibia, in trying to stop the theft of its copper cables through the criminal justice system, was proving that the cabling in question belonged to it. The solution identified by Telecom Namibia was to appoint one scrap metal dealer as the only dealer having exclusive rights to deal in Telecom Namibia's scrap copper wire.

    Dresselhaus Scrap CC was given exclusive dealership in “all copper belonging to Telecom Namibia”.

    The case against Weakley was postponed to 18 June for further investigations. Attorney Schalk Oosthuisen appeared on his behalf.


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    Nene: SA budget may not stave off downgradesNene: SA budget may not stave off downgrades Alexander Winning and Wendell Roelf – South Africa's incoming Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene said yesterday that the budget tabled by his predecessor last week might not prevent further credit ratings downgrades, casting doubt on hopes it would help reduce a large national debt pile.

    The shoddy state of the government finances forced the Treasury last week to take the politically risky step of raising value-added tax.

    The move was welcomed by ratings agencies and markets subsequently priced in expectations that it would enable South Africa to hang on to its last investment grade rating in a Moody's review due soon.

    Nene, who served as finance minister from May 2014 until December 2015 before being sacked by Zuma, was asked during a radio interview whether the budget would stave off further downgrades that could make it more costly for South Africa to borrow.

    "I wouldn't say that yet," Nene told Talk Radio 702.


    S&P and Fitch last year downgraded South Africa's credit ratings to sub-investment grade after Joseph Zuma fired Pravin Gordhan from his second stint as finance minister, a move that caused a major slump in confidence in Africa's most industrialised economy.

    Nene's return to the finance ministry comes after Zuma was ordered to step down by his own African National Congress party and replaced by Cyril Ramaphosa almost two weeks ago.

    Ramaphosa late on Monday announced Nene's return in a reshuffle that included the appointment of other new faces and the removal of some ministers allied to Zuma.

    Nene, a soft-spoken technocrat who is respected by the markets, told 702 that he had learned of his reappointment on Monday and that his reaction was "mixed."

    "What superseded my reaction was when public service calls, all other things are no longer a priority," he said.


    Ramaphosa said his new cabinet was a transitional one to take country to next elections due mid-2019.

    "It's a cabinet that takes into account the various strengths we've got in government," he told reporters in parliament yesterday, after Monday night's cabinet reshuffle.

    When asked if he had to make compromises, Ramaphosa said: "No, no, no. This is a transitional cabinet that is going to take us to the next elections."

    Pravin Gordhan was brought back to the cabinet in the key public enterprises department, which oversees around 300 state-owned firms, including loss-making South African Airways and cash-strapped power utility Eskom.

    Market reaction yesterday to the cabinet shake-up was muted but there has been a strong rally since Ramaphosa was elected ANC president in December, with the rand gaining 14% since then, hitting three-year highs on Monday.

    "The boost to the economic cluster by the appointment of Gordhan and Nene will be well received by financial markets and rating agencies," NKC African Economics said in a note yesterday. – Nampa/Reuters

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  • 02/27/18--14:00: Food costs bleed north
  • Food costs bleed northFood costs bleed northShoppers charged 18% more than in Windhoek A basket of essential household food items will cost you - on average - 18% more in northern regions than the N$1 150 families in Windhoek fork out for the same goods. The First Capital Food Price Index, which compared prices for the past two years, has revealed that northern shoppers are being charged a whopping 18% more for a basket of essential items than what is paid in Windhoek.

    It was further found that a basket of food for which Namibians pay N$1 174.90 could cost a person 9% less in Botswana and 14% less in South Africa.

    The figures for December 2017 reveal that Katima Mulilo is the most expensive town to buy groceries in, where a basket of food will cost you N$1 401. In Rundu, the same basket can cost up to N$1 399, while the cost in Ondwanga is N$1 339.

    This is compared to Windhoek, where shoppers only have to fork out N$1 150 for the same items.

    On average, a basket of food in Windhoek will cost about N$50 less in Swakopmund and N$67 less in Keetmanshoop.

    When comparing 2017 prices with the year before, using an identical basket of food, 2017 prices in northern towns were on average 4.3% higher than 2016 prices, while in Windhoek, 2017 prices were only 2% higher than in 2016.

    “This clearly indicates that the widening differences in the cost of an identical basket of food in Windhoek and the northern regions could be explained by the cost of transport from supplying centres in central regions to the northern parts of the country,” the report says.

    The First Capital Food Price Index measures the price of a basket of food by compiling data from different branches of six supermarkets around six towns in Namibia, in order to compile the proxy for the cost of living using food prices for each of these towns. The most notable goods which became cheaper in Namibia during 2017, in comparison to 2016, were maize meal and local brands of rice. Maize meal prices were 4% cheaper in December 2017 than the previous year, while local brands of rice were 2% cheaper in December 2017, compared to 2016.

    However, meat prices were 8.3% higher in December 2017 compared with 2016.

    Mutton prices increased from N$67.17 to N$110.5, beef stew per kg increased from N$67.99 to N$74.32, while chicken 2kg braai cuts increased from N$79.95 to N$82.49.

    Lucky Star Pilchards (400g) increased from N$20.55 to N$21.49.

    Cooking oil (two litre) also increased from N$38.99 to N$40.18, while Sugar King White (2kg) increased from N$27.99 to N$30. 03.

    A litre of Farm Fresh milk increased by 69 cents to N$19.69 and coffee (250g) from N$35.99 to N$37.74.

    Fruit imports cause price hikes

    Meanwhile, vegetable and fruit prices also showed increases which were mainly attributed to the fact that Namibia imports the majority of its horticulture products.

    Despite potatoes being the highest demanded horticulture product in Namibia the country only produces a quarter of the total demand, while 75% of potatoes consumed are imported.

    Although apples are the most consumed among the fruits, Namibia does not produce any apples. Very few bananas are also produced in Namibia, while nearly all bananas consumed are imported. Similarly, Namibia imports 93% of the total demand for oranges.

    On average, December 2017 prices were 14% higher than prices in December 2015 and 5.5% higher than the average prices in 2016.

    “Though prices are still rising, the rate at which they are rising has declined significantly throughout the year from the high of 13% in January 2017 (y/y) to 2.7% in December 2017 (y/y) indicating a downward trend in inflation,” the report says.

    The price for meat and poultry products was on a continuous rise throughout last year.

    In December 2017, the meat and poultry index was 8.3% higher than it was a year ago. On average, the index was 7.9% higher in 2017 than in 2016, implying that consumers had to pay more for meat than most of the other food commodities in 2017, relative to 2016. Despite the declining feed prices and improved grazing areas for livestock, meat prices remained relatively elevated, as farmers optimised on good pastures to restock and recover from the losses they endured during the drought conditions. It is expected that the cycle of rebuilding livestock herds will continue throughout 2018.


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    NEEEF's enemies will fail - GeingobNEEEF's enemies will fail - Geingob President Hage Geingob says efforts to challenge the provisions of the New Equitable Economic Empowerment Framework (NEEEF) are destined to fail and that the legal foundations and equity considerations used to enact the legislation cannot be disputed.

    The president also took a swipe at naysayers and detractors who continue to criticise government interventions aimed at redressing the apartheid legacy of income disparities and the lack of participation of the black majority in the economy, without offering solutions.

    “Our response to those that try to discredit government interventions at every opportunity is: what are your solutions? Sadly, very often, the reply is a deafening silence,” Geingob said yesterday during a cabinet workshop held at State House on NEEEF.

    The contentious piece of legislation is in its final stages of development and could be tabled within the current year, Geingob has revealed.

    “First, they insinuate that NEEEF targets a particular segment of our population. Second, they argue that NEEEF will affect our economic competitiveness.

    Third, they allege that government does not take the land issue and concomitant income inequalities seriously,” the president charged.

    Motivating the need for a broad-based empowerment framework, Geingob said there is a need to address structural inequalities inherent in the economy.

    “The NEEEF consultations and the implementation of the strategy constitute a necessary intervention in dealing with structural inequality, of which income disparities and lack of participation of the black majority in the economy remain a glaring legacy of our past.

    We will not allow the status quo to continue,” said Geingob.

    Citing Article 23 of the Namibian Constitution, the president said there was provision made to enact laws that would address economic inequalities as had been the case with the Affirmative Action Act, therefore making them constitutional.

    “I have to remind you that Article 23 authorises government to enact legislation providing directly or indirectly for the advancement of persons within Namibia who have been excluded from educational opportunities and economic activity by past discriminatory laws and practices.

    “In the same vein, it also calls for the implementation of policies and programmes aimed at righting social, economic or educational imbalances in our country,” added Geingob.

    Opposition to NEEEF, he said, was surprising and unwarranted given that wide consultations were still being held.

    “The final leg of the consultation is now before us. It is disturbing to note that there are some who have cast aspersions on the National Equitable Economic Empowerment Framework, even before consultations were concluded,” said Geingob.

    In implementing the framework, Namibia would be drawing on the experiences of other countries that had introduced similar empowerment frameworks to address inequality, the president said.

    “In addressing the issue of income inequalities, we are not starting on a blank page. We can draw from the comparative experiences of Singapore, Malaysia and closer to home, South Africa. Even as we draw from their experiences, we will do it the Namibian way, context-specific and in a sustainable manner, where all feel included.”

    While further allaying the fear of naysayers, Geingob said there would be interventions to track NEEEF's success.

    “The framework makes provision for a monitoring mechanism, while it is absent from the bill. I support a proposal that a monitoring mechanism should be included in the bill,” he said.

    Geingob also said that while there are efforts to challenge the provisions of NEEEF, such efforts are destined to fail.

    “I am aware that there are some who have made it their mission to prove that certain provisions in the NEEEF Bill are unconstitutional. Our republic is founded on the rule of law.

    “When you consider those provisions carefully, it is clear that the legal foundations and equity considerations, enacting the NEEEF legislation cannot be disputed. Our employment equity provisions have never been legally challenged,” said Geingob.

    While further defending his confidence in the legality of the proposed framework, Geingob said employment equity provisions, drafted on the same premise as NEEEF, were never challenged.

    He also encouraged private sector institutions to fund NEEEF programmes.

    “Government cannot carry the sole burden of financing empowerment. It must be a collective responsibility, including Government, development finance institutions, the Government Institutions Pension Fund, private sector financial institutions and participating enterprises,” Geingob said.

    While making his concluding remarks, he said there would be no losers when NEEEF converts to becoming a law in the near future.

    “The New Equitable Economic Empowerment Bill is not about winners and losers. It is a noble win-win policy that will benefit the entire nation,” said Geingob.

    Reflecting on the outcomes of the workshop, Geingob said feedback would be provided.

    “We shall use this opportunity to provide feedback to the technical team on key policy and legal issues, which may need to be revisited, revised, replaced or even jettisoned,” he said.

    The cabinet workshop concluded yesterday.


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  • 02/27/18--14:00: Haufiku rapped over knuckles
  • Haufiku rapped over knucklesHaufiku rapped over knucklesGeingob fumes at health minister over referral hospital The head of state has taken issue with his health minister over the northern referral hospital, which will now be built in Ondangwa. President Hage Geingob has criticised health minister Bernhard Haufiku over his handling of the contentious referral hospital, which is being planned for the north.

    Geingob wrote a strongly-worded letter to Haufiku on 9 February 2018 – just two days before Namibian Sun carried an article confirming the health minister's visit to the north to inspect seven possible sites identified for the construction of the project in Ondangwa and Ongwediva.

    Geingob questioned why Haufiku was insistent on visiting the northern sites, while a decision had already been taken by cabinet to construct the hospital in Ondangwa. The Cabinet Committee on Overall Policy and Priorities (CCOPP) had already resolved to construct the hospital in Ondangwa.

    “I am therefore puzzled by your insistence on exploring alternative sites, outside the jurisdiction of Ondangwa town, given the fact that cabinet has already decided on this matter,” Geingob wrote.

    Late last month, Haufiku wrote to Oshana governor Clemens Kashuupulwa, inviting him and the Ongwediva and Ondangwa town councillors to join him for the site visits on 22 and 23 February. Four of the sites were within the jurisdiction of the Ondangwa Town Council, and three in Ongwediva.

    These scheduled site visits were unceremoniously cancelled last week.

    Haufiku was, however, in the north and addressed a gathering of the Namibian Surgical Society at Ondangwa on Saturday evening. Haufiku told the gathering he was disappointed by the way the whole project had turned political.

    He blamed political forces in the north for him and his ministry no longer having a say regarding where a referral hospital will be built.

    It has now emerged that the CCOPP, which is chaired by Geingob, had already decided to stick with Ondangwa for the construction of the state-of-the-art facility, which will house an oncology centre, a maternity block and a cardiac unit.

    “In this regard, as a way forward, I advise that all stakeholders respect and adhere to the CCOPP's decision,” said Geingob.

    Last week Haufiku fumed that he only learned recently that the cabinet committee had already met and deliberated on the issue without his input.

    After a consultative meeting with northern health professionals and the political leadership from the Oshana, Ohangwena, Omusati and Oshikoto regions at Ongwediva, regarding the plan to construct a

    1 000-bed hospital in Oshana in May last year, Haufiku ordered Ondangwa and Ongwediva to identify sites for the facility by 30 June 2017.

    He also asked the Oshana regional leadership to come up with recommendations for a site at Ondangwa or Ongwediva, which would then be assessed for suitability by independent geo-scientific consultants. However, the Oshana political leadership unanimously agreed to have the referral hospital built at Ondangwa, at the expense of Ongwediva.

    The decision was made a resolution of the regional council.

    Yesterday Ondangwa Town Council CEO Ismael Namgongo confirmed receiving a letter from State House confirming their town as the preferred location for the referral hospital project. “Justice has been served because a lot of money has already been spent on the site that was initially earmarked for the district hospital that come a long way since 2003. The community of Ondangwa has been expecting a bigger hospital to be constructed in Ondangwa,” he said. Namgongo said they never opposed Haufiku's view on the project. He added they were merely concerned about their town's development. Oshana Regional Council chairperson Gerson Kapenda, however, said nothing had been communicated to them regarding the final cabinet decision. Ongwediva mayor Angelina Angula also said they were not yet informed about the final cabinet decision.


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  • 02/27/18--14:00: Ramaphosa here Friday
  • Ramaphosa here FridayRamaphosa here Friday South African President Cyril Ramaphosa is expected to pay a courtesy call on President Hage Geingob on Friday.
    Ramaphosa, who is the chairperson of SADC, will be visiting Namibia in this capacity.
    This was confirmed by presidential spokesperson Alfredo Hengari who pointed out that Namibia and South Africa enjoy very cordial relations and thus this visit must be seen in this context.
    This will be the first state visit to Namibia by Ramaphosa who was elected president of South Africa this month after the resignation of former president Jacob Zuma.

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  • 02/28/18--05:50: Mbumba named Unam chancellor
  • Mbumba named Unam chancellorMbumba named Unam chancellor
    Vice-President Nangolo Mbumba has been confirmed as the new chancellor of the University of Namibia. Mbumba, who was recently appointed vice-president, takes over from former President Hifikepunye Pohamba whose term came to an end in November 2017. “The official handover by the outgoing chancellor will take place on a date to be announced in due time,” Unam said in a statement.

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    Pre-season cup to light up ErosPre-season cup to light up Eros The Chicitos Khomasdal Pre-Season Cup will take place this weekend at the Eros Primary School in Windhoek.

    The cup is played in preparation for a social football league, which will commence in Windhoek on 17 March.

    Four local football clubs - Chicitos, Dahlia, Amigos and Funky Town Football Club - will take part in the one-day tournament. There will also be a curtain-raiser between AIJ Old Stars against Classic Football Club.

    The Khomasdal-based teams will start the day with semi-final clashes.

    One of the organisers, Elton Job, said winning the tournament was simply for bragging rights and that it would get the players ready for the social league.

    “We want to keep the players active for what is to come. We are excited about the weekend and urge football fans to turn up in numbers to watch the games. There is rivalry between the clubs and there will be tough competition from each to lift the cup at the end of the day,” said Job.

    Job added the social football league was introduced to keep youthful players away from social evils and to hone their skills.

    “Some of this players did not get the chance to compete in the premier league, so this is an opportunity for them to show their skills and to open doors for themselves.”

    Amigos coach Asim Sissing said the cup competition is about the community coming together.

    He added that Saturday will reveal who the better team is.

    “'We don't want to say a lot now; we will do the talking on the pitch,” he said.

    The first match will kick off at 10:00. Entrance is free but fans will be charged for refreshments.


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  • 02/28/18--14:00: NPL setup under scrutiny
  • NPL setup under scrutinyNPL setup under scrutinyShambolic organisational skills a concern There appears to be chaotic management and confusion at the Namibia Premier League (NPL), especially when it comes to organising matches and the timely release of statistics, among others. Namibia Premier League (NPL) administrator Joshua 'Tovey' //Hoebeb has confirmed that there are several challenges being experienced with the organising of league matches.

    Namibian Sun has learnt that since the league commenced last year, many organisational issues have emerged, including officials struggling to receive and distribute results and match statistics in a timely fashion, because of improper organisation among the match officials and technical staff.

    It is also understood that some players have been rotating jersey numbers, which has led to confusion when NPL's administrators collect data.

    In other instances coaches have reportedly been verbally abusing referees, without the NPL taking any action.

    It is understood that the match officials compiling match reports struggle to interpret information correctly, because of language barriers.

    “We have heard about all these issues and the NPL will make sure that things are done properly this time. “I also understand that match commissioners sometimes fail to attend to their duties and this causes confusion at the matches.

    “The NPL will now also ask for the match officials to write the reports in their mother tongue. After this, we will find interpreters to translate the reports into English,” Hoebeb said.

    The NPL has also appointed chairpersons to head the different branches of its standing committee, after recommendations from its Board of Governors.

    Lucas Nanyemba will be responsible for the finance committee, while Niklaas Kisipile heads the audit and compliance committee.

    Paulus Ngolombe has been appointed as head of the organisation committee for NPL competitions, while Cyril Isaacs heads the technical and development committee.

    The legal department is headed up by Franco Cosmos, who will spearhead the legal committee, while Evaristus Evaristus will oversee the medical committee.

    Ricardo /Uirab have accepted the responsibility to lead the youth football committee.

    The members will be responsible to insure that all clubs comply with the rules and regulations of club licensing, going into the 2018/19 season.

    This means that clubs are required to have youth football systems and many other administration procedures in place, in order to acquire a club licence before the start of the 2018/19 campaign.

    Tiger's case thrown out

    NPL prosecutor Slysken Makando, who was dealing with the case between Tigers and the league, has dismissed the matter after citing a lack of legal grounds.

    This is after the NPL charged Tigers for not showing up for their first two matches of the season against Unam FC and Citizens.

    //Hoebeb confirmed that the disciplinary committee has referred the case back to the NPL executive committee.

    Six candidates still in CEO hunt

    The NPL also announced that out of the 10 applicants who were shortlisted for its CEO post last week, only six now remain.

    Interviews of the remaining candidates have also been conducted and the interview panel will now make recommendations to the NPL executive committee about who has emerged as the most suitable candidate.

    Jesse Jackson Kauraisa

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    Namibian Newspaper Cup launchedNamibian Newspaper Cup launched The 2018 Namibian Newspaper Cup, which is slated for Katima Mulilo from 31 March to 2 April, was officially launched in Windhoek on Tuesday.

    This will be the 18th edition of the popular youth football tournament, which will this year see the introduction of an under-20 netball competition for all 14 regions.

    The previous 17 editions saw u-20 teams compete in football only.

    The event was launched in the presence of Zambezi governor Lawrence Sampofu, The Namibian newspaper's acting editor, Christof Maletzky, Namibia Football Association first and second vice-presidents, Naftali Ngalangi and Ludwig Nunuheb, and various representatives of the sponsors and football community.

    Sampofu paid tribute to the organisers for showing confidence in the region.

    “We are honoured as a region to host this event, as it is going to benefit a lot of people. We would like to thank all the sponsors as they will improve the lives of the people of the region,” he said.

    He added the tournament will be held under the theme, 'Preserving the Zambezi Bream'.

    “The tournament will help us spread conservation messages through this year's theme. We are also expecting some spectators from Zambia and Botswana to witness this event,” the governor added.

    Sampofu said the government and private sector are collaborating to develop the host town of Katima Mulilo.

    Some of the developments include the installation of lights at the Zambezi Sports Field. The stadium and school hostels that will house the players and officials are also being painted.

    Sampofu said 800 mattresses will also be bought for the hostels and after the tournament they will remain at the schools hosting the players and officials.

    “All these developments are due to the fact that government is meeting with the private sector to improve lives in the regions,” he added.

    The Namibian Newspaper Cup is sponsored by The Namibian and supported by Nedbank Namibia.

    The sport and gender ministries will run various campaigns targeting the girl child, HIV and Aids programmes and offer life skills to people in the region.


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    Alvarez, Golovkin promise fireworksAlvarez, Golovkin promise fireworksRematch coming after bizarre draw World middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin and Saul 'Canelo' Alvarez have promised to deliver an explosive sequel to their bizarre draw last September, when they clash again on 5 May. Hard-hitting Gennady Golovkin was widely believed to have won last September's first battle against Mexican star Saul 'Canelo' Alvarez, when a bizarre judging controversy dominated the aftermath of the bout.

    While one judge scored the fight for Golovkin and another had it even, there was widespread astonishment at the card of judge, Adalaide Byrd, who marked it 118-110 in favour of Alvarez.

    On Tuesday the two fighters came face-to-face before a crowd of fans in downtown Los Angeles and both vowed that judges would not be a factor when they climb into the ring again on 5 May at Las Vegas's T-Mobile Arena in what is likely to be one of the fights of the year.

    “Everything is ready for an amazing show,” Golovkin told reporters, unsurprisingly adamant that he had won the first bout.

    “I felt very comfortable. I felt I won. 100 percent,” added Golovkin, who has a record of 37-0 with one draw and 33 knockouts.

    Golovkin's trainer, Abel Sanchez, meanwhile taunted Alvarez's hit-and-run strategy in the first meeting.

    “I definitely think he ran a lot more than we thought he was going to,” Sanchez said.

    “I talked to (Michael) Jordan about it and asked if he could make us some shoes so that we can go a bit faster and catch him.

    “I hope for the fans that he puts on the fight that he said he was going to do the first time,” Sanchez quipped.

    Alvarez, who has a record of 49-1 with two drawn and 34 knockouts, was unimpressed with Sanchez's barbs, insisting he had done enough to win the first instalment.

    “I went in there, I outboxed him, I went on the ropes, I made him miss, I controlled the centre of the ring,” Alvarez said.

    “I'm a technical fighter. I'm not a jackass who just comes forward, throwing punches and gets hit. I hope he (Sanchez) goes home tonight and really thinks about what he says. Because he's saying stupid, idiotic things.” Alvarez, however, acknowledged he could have been more aggressive in the first fight, maintaining that he had not taken advantage of openings that presented themselves.

    This is something he plans to rectify in the rematch.

    “I learned a lot,” Alvarez said. “When I made him miss there were a lot of openings that I didn't take advantage of. Now I'm going to work in the gym to take advantage of those chances.

    “We both want to win convincingly. We both want to erase any doubt. And that's going to make the fight more interesting, because if we take more risks, there's going to be more openings.”

    Golovkin's promoter Tom Loeffler meanwhile said his team would pay close attention to the judges chosen for the Nevada fight, and would not hesitate to object to any appointed individual they were unhappy with.

    “There's going to be a lot more focus on the judges going into this fight,” Loeffler said.

    “We have the right to object to any judges we think aren't going to be satisfactory. Hopefully the judges won't be a factor.”


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    Namibia's Commonwealth team nearly completeNamibia's Commonwealth team nearly complete The Namibia National Olympic Committee (NNOC) is in the process of finalising its list of athletes who will represent the country at the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Australia.

    The international multi-sport event for members of the Commonwealth will be held from 4 to 15 April in Queensland.

    Speaking to Nampa on Sunday, NNOC secretary-general Joan Smit said they have selected a team of athletes who they are confident will represent Namibia well.

    The athletes will compete in boxing, marathons, cycling, bowling, triathlon, athletics and para-athletics.

    The boxers are currently at a high-performance centre preparing for the competition, while the marathon runners are in camp in South Africa.

    “We do not have any swimmers representing Namibia. As you know swimming is one of those tough events and none of our athletes qualified for the competition.

    “But I am happy that we still have other codes and there will probably be 27 athletes at the games,” Smit said.

    She added that the biggest challenge faced for the athletes is the unavailability of infrastructure to prepare at home.

    The athletes who have started preparing for the Commonwealth Games are Jonas Junius Jonas, Johannes Hamunyela and Try-Again Ndevelo (boxing); Uveni-Nawa Kuugongelwa, Leonard Nampala and Paulus Iyambo (male marathon runners) and Helalia Johannes, Lavinia Haitope and Lena Ekandjo (female marathon runners). The female cycling team will consist of Vera Adrian and Michelle Voster. Smit said the male team will be announced once the Namibian Cycling Federation has informed the athletes.

    In bowling there are male and female teams.

    Smith said the bowlers qualified for the games during the World Cup held in New Zealand last year. Jean Paul Burger will be the only triathlon athlete representing the country.

    The track and field athletes will possibly consist of triple jumper Roger Haitengi, Ernst Narib and Johannes Gerhardus Maritz.

    Smit said the two track athletes still have the chance to qualify for the Commonwealth Games.

    Ananias Shikongo will represent Namibia in the Paralympic events.

    Smit said he will be sent to Dubai for final preparations in March.


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